Posttransplant primary CNS lymphoma

Thanh G. Phan, Brian P. O'Neill, Paul J. Kurtin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The records and neuro-imaging studies of 8 cases of post-transplant primary CNS lymphoma (PT-PCNSL) diagnosed at Mayo Clinic Rochester between 1970 and 1998 were reviewed retrospectively. All patients received organ transplantation. Patients who had hematologic transplantation were not included in the analysis. The median and mean age of the 4 men and 4 women was 45 years (range, 34 to 50 years). The median duration of symptoms before diagnosis was 36 days (range, 5 to 98 days). At diagnosis, the neurologic examination was focally abnormal in 6 of 8 patients. Compared with the initial computed tomographic study, MRI showed 25 additional brain lesions. Only 43.7% of lesions enhanced with contrast agent; of those that did, all but one were heterogeneous. Ependymal contact occurred in 5 patients. MRI lesion burden increased proportionally to the interval between scans. Diagnostic tissue was obtained by stereotactic biopsy from 6 patients and by open biopsy from 2. Hemorrhage occurred in the biopsy area in 4 patients who had stereotactic biopsy and 2 died (all had normal coagulation studies). Slides available for review (7 patients) showed that the tumors were of CD20-positive lineage and were positive for Epstein-Barr virus, using in situ hybridization. Six patients died. Median survival for the cohort was 13 weeks. PT-PCNSL has clinical and imaging features distinct from typical PCNSL. In our series, (1) PT-PCNSL presented nonspecifically and progressed rapidly, (2) stereotactic brain biopsy had significant morbidity, and (3) despite multimodal therapy, survival was poor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-238
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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